2020 Chairman's update from Keith Levin

Christmas is almost upon us which means it is nearly 12 months since I took up the position of Chair of the Daniel Adamson Preservation Society (DAPS) and what a year it has been: a baptism of fire is something of an understatement.

I began my term as Chair in January 2020 by meeting with our director, Andrea Ward and our two staff members, Cathriona Bourke and Georgia Hayes to discuss their roles, what I could do to help them and how best we could secure a successful future for the Danny.  Our 2020 cruise schedule was in place and ticket sales were going well.  Everything was rosy but what none us knew was that we were about to be hit by the double whammy of a broken propeller blade and covid19 which forced us to make the decision to cancel all our cruises and events for 2020.

Andrea, Cathriona and Georgia have all worked tirelessly for the Danny over the last 12 months and all three have displayed a dedication and enthusiasm to the Danny which goes well beyond the call of duty.  We are truly lucky to have such a dedicated team running the Society and I thank all three of them for their efforts and for their help, support and kindness to me in carrying out my role.

The sheer dedication of our volunteers never ceases to amaze me.  They turn out at all hours and in all weathers to make sure that the Danny’s ropes are secure or in response to alerts on the security cameras. Our boiler room crews arrive well before the crack of dawn to make sure that we have sufficient steam for our departures. Our engineers work late into the night to carry out emergency repairs when needed. The list goes on and on.  Our volunteers are the beating heart of the Danny.  As Stuart Wood so beautifully puts it: “The Danny is dual fuel; she runs on steam and volunteers”.  Put simply the Danny would not be where she is today without our volunteers: stewards, deck crew, galley crew, skippers, helmsmen, engineers, firemen and stokers, heads of department, volunteer co-ordinators, fundraisers - the list is endless.  I thank each and every one of you for all that you do.

 I would like to thank my fellow trustees for all their hard work and support and help over the last 12 months.  In a “normal” year we would have four Board meetings but during 2020 we have held eight meetings.

2020 has truly been an “annus horribilis” – a year to forget.  We now look forward to 2021 with hope and optimism.  We have vaccines available which hopefully will prove effective in immunising us against this dreadful virus and the Danny and DAPS are in good shape for 2021.  We look forward to a successful cruising season with full loads of happy passengers.  Keith Levin.

Our exciting new plans for 2021, currently being developed, include: A 360 virtual tour of The Danny - An interactive guide for tours on the ship, to include augmented reality - A Young Person's project enabling us to share skills with a younger generation - The ability to host virtual exhibitions to engage with schools & community groups or projects -  A new and better engaging map for the website focusing on the history of The River Weaver - A new blog, giving our archive a better platform to be shared - NEW Towline to be developed for 2021 with new writing team. 

Brief summary of 2020 with update from Marine Superintendent, Dan Cross on The Danny’s recent passenger licence trials

We were in Cammell Lairds' dry dock for our annual survey when the Covid-19 pandemic became the new reality for us all.  Along with discovering a broken propeller blade, we also needed to vacate the dry dock to make room for essential work only, so we were tugged back to our base at Sandon, where our team of tireless volunteers completed every possible job within Covid safety guidelines, whilst we waited for a slot to return to dry dock and have the propeller replaced. We are very pleased to report this has now been completed and we were tugged back to Sandon on 20th November.  With Danny being out of operation for most of the year, along with the fitting of new prop shafts and propeller we were very keen to give the old girl a run and check everything was as it should be.  After tentative dock trials, testing boiler pressures, engines and the props we were ready for proper trials in the River with the MCA in attendance.

So, on the extremely wet and blustery Tuesday 8th December we set off for Langton Lock in torrential rain having warmed through and tested all machinery and comm’s. We put Danny through her paces on the River and it proved an excellent run and well worth doing to identify any small issues such as leaks and squeaks while giving the old girl a thorough “Leg Stretch”.  As part of the testing, we were asked to do an emergency stop which was performed without incident and the tug stopped very quickly and smoothly, no vibration whatsoever. We then rang full again and once speed had risen to the dizzy heights of around 7 knots against the tide, we were asked to perform a Williamson Turn (figure of 8) and with the sea room we did all this whilst still on full ahead, loading up the steering again without issue and she performed faultlessly.  We were Finished with Engines before 1600 hrs - a great days running to the full satisfaction of the MCA and the delight of everyone here at The Danny.

WATCH THE STORY OF THE DANNY'S RESTORATION ON LIVERPOOL TV

A film made about The Danny's restoration is currently being shown in short episodes on Liverpool TV.

The film was made over a number of years and includes interviews with the volunteers involved and shows the restoration as it unfolded at Cammell Laird's.  The broadcast times are listed below and it will be shown again in January and the full DVD is available to buy on The Danny's website. 

To view their timetable click here

Find out more about Shipshape Network North here.

Daniel Adamson christmas lights (c) Daniel Adamson Preservation Society
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